Slideshow 5 social media behaviors employers hate

Published
  • March 16 2016, 4:14pm EDT
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5 social media behaviors employers hate

Long gone are the days when social media was just a communication method shared between old friends. Employers now monitor social media not only to keep an eye on their current employees, but to vet new talent as well.

In fact, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, over one-third of companies have disqualified a job candidate in the past year because of concerns about information found on public social media or an online search. But that doesn’t mean social media should be avoided by those seeking a job. In fact, SHRM says, recruiting via social media is growing; 84% of organizations use it currently and 9% plan to use it.

But it does mean potential employees need to be careful about what they’re posting. Here are five social media behaviors to avoid, according to staffing firm OfficeTeam.

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1. Posting negative comments

A Negative Nancy isn’t the best person to be — in life or on social media. Nearly half (45%) of the 300 HR managers polled by OfficeTeam said that posting negative or inappropriate comments would reduce a job candidate’s chances of getting hired. After all, some of those cranky comments may be about former colleagues or politics (or, hey, maybe a subpar benefits package) — some big no-nos for employers.

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2. Posting inappropriate photos

This seems like an obvious thing to avoid online, but apparently not, as there are many offenders.

More than a third of recruiters (35%) said a candidate who posted — or was tagged in —inappropriate or risqué photos would diminish his or her standing in the eyes of hiring managers. The easy solution? Remove or untag yourself from any images that may raise eyebrows.

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3. Having an incomplete profile

Though saying too much on social media is not a good idea, neither is saying too little. According to OfficeTeam, not having a social media presence could be a deal-breaker for hiring managers.

Seventeen percent of HR managers said that failing to post regularly or having incomplete, dated or no social media profiles could make it harder to get hired.

Says OfficeTeam: “Highlight your work history and accomplishments on sites like LinkedIn. Consider including key terms that describe your skills and experience to help employers more easily find you. Show an interest in your industry by participating in relevant Web groups and forums.”

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4. Not having the right connections

Having too many connections is a classic example of “quantity over quality.” Social media users should be selective about their connections and with whom they chose to foster professional relationships. “Having the right people in your network can help advance your career, and potential employers may also reach out to these individuals to learn more about you,” OfficeTeam says.

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5. Too much TMI

Neither your friends nor your potential employer care to see your Candy Crush score or 100 pictures from a party you attended over the weekend. Do not fall into the trap of oversharing, experts say.

“Be aware that certain topics may make you appear unprofessional,” OfficeTeam says. “Use your best judgment when sharing status updates and check your privacy settings to control who in your network has access to what information.”

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